This author discovered Libertarianism somewhat by accident in late 1994 or early 1995 through an article in a popular outdoor magazine. The article outlined and explained the "official" party platform of the Libertarian Party. That was the first time this article had ever heard of any such party. I thought to myself, 'Damn, I was born a libertarian and didn't even know it.' Over the years, I had sat in a multitude of economics and political science classes. Never once had I heard the names Ludvig von Mises, Murray Rothbard ...
This author discovered Libertarianism somewhat by accident in late 1994 or early 1995 through an article in a popular outdoor magazine. The article outlined and explained the "official" party platform of the Libertarian Party. That was the first time this article had ever heard of any such party. I thought to myself, 'Damn, I was born a libertarian and didn't even know it.' Over the years, I had sat in a multitude of economics and political science classes. Never once had I heard the names Ludvig von Mises, Murray Rothbard or any of the others for that matter. But this thing called "libertarianism" just made common sense. I was eager to learn but I was on my own. I begin to read and outline books for my own learning benefit. This quickly led to the discovery of THE ETHICS OF LIBERTY by Murray N. Rothbard, the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism. Hans-Hermann Hoppe described it as "Rothbard's unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism." After having spent a lifetime searching for an objective, consistent way to make ethical choices, I had finally found it. At this point, I was a hooked Anarcho-Capitalist. I continued to read, outline and learn. That eventually led to the launch of a web site called FlyoverPress.com. Then it dawned on me that, if I converted my outlines into prose, they would make very good condensed (Cliff Note type) book reviews for my web page. This was the birth of what I called "The Essence of Liberty Series." It was not until years later that I came to realize that the individual parts of this series could be combined and organized into a book that might be useful, especially for those who are new to the idea of liberty. So that is how we got here. This collection of condensed versions of some very good books is not intended to be the comprehensive, end all, burning bush of liberty. It is simply a synopsis of the books that had the most influence on me during my journey out of the darkness of neo-conservatism. My general purpose with The Essence of Liberty is to provide an introduction and sound basic foundation in the fundamentals of a discipline that integrates sound, free market principles of economics with a property rights-natural law based ethic into a single whole-a truly universal philosophy of political economy applicable to all men at all times and in all places. I attempt to accomplish this by offering a set of condensed versions of some of the classical as well as modern works in the "science" of liberty. I hope to "capture the essence of liberty" in as few words as possible and in a language understandable by the reasonably intelligent person without formal education in political science or economics. By necessity, any condensation or compression of complex arguments into a fraction of their original length will involve some oversimplification. I hope to do this without distortion. I refer the reader to the appropriate chapter and section of the original work for the facts, figures and other details. In this manner, I hope to whet the appetite for the original and more. My ultimate objective is to make these logically based, common sense ideas available to a wider audience and, thereby, make a small contribution to the struggle for liberty. If I succeeded, that will have been my only small claim to originality because the ideas are from the minds and the pens of the authors. The errors are mine. The Essence of Liberty is organized into a series of three volumes: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government. Volume II: The Economics of Liberty Volume III: Liberty: A Universal Political Ethi
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